The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Saturday, December 21, 2013

This Day Will Go Down in History

      Thirty-four years ago, minus one day, I was in great pain. But after gathering together my family and close friends, the pain stopped.

      "What should I do now?" I asked my osteopath. He said, "Walk. Walk as much as you can. The act of walking with begin things again."

       It was unseasonably warm on December 20, 1979--just like it was yesterday during the day. I walked the streets around my Maplewood home and eventually, things did start up again. The contractions returned and again my family and friends were summoned. When the evening of December 21 arrived, so had my beautiful daughter.

     After my baby girl was checked out and declared perfect, the doctor and my mom--along with my mother-in-law and my adopted grandma--had cake and coffee. I cuddled up with the best early Christmas present anyone has ever gotten. *



     Happy birthday, Virginia. You're the most wonderful daughter and the best mother.

* Note: In the 1970's, I worked at St. Anthony's Hospital and discovered that women were shaved (not their armpits) and an enema given before delivering. This was standard operating procedure.

Since I wanted to be a little more control of what happened, I chose to have my baby at home, without drugs. An incredible osteopath, Dr. Fred Duhart, did home deliveries. He delivered my daughter and eight years later, delivered my son.

 And if you want to take a break from holiday shopping on Monday (Dec. 23) and you live in the St. Louis area, Lynn Obermoeller and Linda O'Connell will be reading their "I will survive" stories from the Gloria Gaynor collection. It's at the Gelateria, 3197 S. Grand and begins at 7:00. 

Ice cream and some great writing? What can be better than that...  


32 comments:

  1. Interesting you had your babies at home! That you had control over the births....
    What a great Christmas gift that year...and one that keeps on giving!

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    1. Claudia--You're right. Our kids are the gifts that keep on giving.

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  2. Dang! That's hard-core! I commend you for your birth plan. Happy Birthday to Virginia.

    I had both of mine without drugs, but only because my husband had to take a shower and pack himself a bag of snacks before driving me to the hospital. I got there too late for an epidural. No shaving, though! Or the E-word.

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    1. Val--Of course. A man's snacks are more important than an epidural for excruciating pain. During labor, a man's comfort and food is soooo much more important than helping along a woman as her flesh is stretched and torn...

      Of course.

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  3. Great story. I had two c-sections, so neither of these issues applied in my case, although there were other issues to contend with!

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    1. Mary--You had it much worse than I did. Surgery. Scary. Lots of sutures. Painful. If I had had a baby via C-section, I don't know if I would have chosen to have a second one. I bow down to you...

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  4. Happy birthday to your daughter and congrats to you for having her! You are a warrior! I can't imagine giving birth at home with no drugs. Your note about prebirth prep had been one of the reasons that I never wanted to give birth myself. Plus, I'm not a warrior woman like you! Thank goodness that I married a man with two small children that I was able to raise as my own! :)

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    1. Pat--Being a mother to another woman's kids and considering them her own means you are a warrior. Too many people make a division between real/biological kids and kids they did not contribute any DNA to. If you calm a child down over a nightmare...if you take care of them when they're sick...if you go to their ball games...if you cry with them over some boy/girl who dumped them--you're a parent.

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  5. Happy birthday to your beautiful Virginia. Kudos to you...Bill says, holy sh*t! But what do men know about giving birth, all he can give is trouble.

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    1. Linda--Just tell Bill it all goes along with the 666...

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  6. What a lovely girl. Happy birthday to Virginia! You're a brave one, Sioux. I can't imagine doing a home birth. If you haven't done so already, those stories would make great material for an essay or two.

    Pat
    Critter Alley

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    1. Pat--Thanks. I think she's lovely, too, but I'm not too objective.

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    1. Thanks, Shay. I hope you have a great holiday.

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  8. That is such a sweet picture! Happy Birthday to her!

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    1. Mama Zen--Thanks. She's a phenomenal young lady.

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  9. I can't believe this! I too had a home birth with my daughter, but Dr. Duhart didn't want to take me on because of a prior c-section. So I two midwives. And - another coincidence - our children almost share a birthday. Happy belated birthday to Virginia!

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    1. Tammy--I had researched about midwives but in 1979, they had to work with a doctor and since none of them did home births, I researched further and found Dr. Duhart. What a small world indeed.

      You had it tough both ways--surgery and then the "old fashioned way." You are one tough woman!

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  10. OUCH!!!!! I can't believe that was the procedure. That's awful. My mom had me at St. John's in 1971. She's never mentioned this. .. The thing she did tell me over and over when I was pregnant--it was the worse pain I ever experienced.

    Uh, thanks, Mom. And once again, I discovered she was right, but the pain is so worth it. Love being a mom! Merry CHristmas.

    REALLY want to get to Lynn and Linda's event tomorrow night. I am not sure if i can swing it with Christmas activities. TRYING!

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    1. Ouch is right. But you're also right, Margo, in that the pain is sooo worth it. (And I hope to see you there. It sounds like it will be a fun event. To sweeten the deal, I'll bring a CS book for you--one for kids--as a gift.)

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  11. Happy Birthday to your best Christmas gift ever! I had two in the 70s, and had the shave and enema experience both times. I did both without benefit of drugs - it wasn't so bad. They insisted on a 3-day stay in the hospital, when I really just wanted to go home and get the whole motherhood ball rolling.

    With the last one, 17 years later, I had an emergency C-section. Totally different experience - and I stayed in the hospital only two days, though I could have stayed one more day. I found that I could get more rest at home without them waking me to poke and prod and take vital signs.

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    1. Kim--You're a tougher woman than I am. Having my daughter was not too bad but my son--well, I was fifty pounds heavier and eight years older. I thought I was going to die, and was afraid--at one point, that I wouldn't...

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  12. Happy belated birthday to your daughter!!!! And wow, you're tough!

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    1. Lynn--I have a feeling you have survived much worse...

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  13. What a sweet photo. And a belated happy birthday to your beautiful daughter. Things sure have changed since the 1970s!

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    1. Donna--Thanks. I think she's gorgeous, too. And yes--thankfully, things HAVE changed.

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  14. Beautiful girls! You must be sooo proud ; )

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  15. Every time you post I learn something new and dramatic about you! Way to be. Just goes to show how interesting people are. And how different the "same" experience can be.
    Year 1973: traditional hospital birth - they gave me such drugs that I barely woke for three days. When I heard them calling my name to tell me I had a baby girl, I actually said "No, I haven't gone in yet." The whole experience was void. At least my daughter looks so much like me we can't deny I did in fact birth her, although she has tried to deny that very thing!

    Then 1975: just 3 years later. Different hospital, different doctor, different me. My son was born within minutes of getting there, though I did have a hurried epidural. I ate a grilled cheese sandwich immediately after and in a few hours walked around. I got to see him born (with a mirror) and his father was there too.

    I'm sure that had there been a third time I'd have been much more cognizant overall.

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  16. Marcia--Your comment is a story in itself. (Yeah, all our kids at some point try to deny they were spawned by us.)

    It's not too late for a third, is it? ;)

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  17. Dear Sioux, I need to talk to you but I've got a wrong e-mail address. Please contact me at desplain.virginie@orange.fr.
    By the way, I love your blog and I love this special page for Virginia : she and her daughter are just beautiful !

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